this is the One we have waited for

I know, I know. I’ve been horrible at updating this recently. There’s been less activity here than if you were watching golf on a Sunday evening.

But to jump-start  my return to the blogosphere, I want to share a song that has been stuck in my head all weekend.

I’ve always liked Chris Tomlin. In a genre where a lot of songs sound either like whiny love songs to God (or a lover of your choice) or are theologically anorexic, Tomlin has consistently written songs that have robust lyrics that point back to Christ. They glorify God in such a beautiful way. They actually praise and worship God! Imagine that.

This song is an old one that Tomlin wrote and sang, but this version has David Crowder as well, and includes an additional lyric where previously there was only humming. I was actually there at the concert when they recorded this exact version in Austin, and it was beautiful! Thousands of people lifting high the banner of Jesus Christ!

This Is Our God

The lyrics simply remind us who God is:

A refuge for the poor, a shelter from the storm
This is our God
He will wipe away your tears and return your
wasted years
This is our God
So call upon His Name, He is mighty to save
This is our God

A father to the orphan, a healer to the broken
This is our God
And He brings peace to our madness and comfort
in our sadness
This is our God
This is our God

This is the One we have waited for
This is the One we have waited for
This is the One we have waited for
Jesus, Lord and Savior
This is our God

A fountain for the thirsty, a lover for the lonely
This is our God
He brings glory to the humble and crowns for the faithful
This is our God
So call upon His Name, He is mighty to save
This is our God

And the chorus reminds us who Jesus is…. “This is the One we have waited for! Jesus, Lord and Savior… This is our God!”

Maybe it sounds corny, but my heart warms when I hear this song because I am reminded that everything my heart yearns and longs for is found in Jesus. When broken things can’t satisfy me, when people don’t live up, fail me, and leave me, when my soul groans for true relationship, when nothing in this world satisfies… As I’m waiting for wholeness and shalom… Jesus completes me! In Christ, our desires overwhelmingly meet their satisfaction.

This… This is our God.

Come Awake

Music has the ability to sometimes perfectly express our emotions and feelings. In our ups and downs, we can find a song to relate to. It’s one of the reasons why we cling to it so much.

And sometimes, it can quickly turn us the other way.

I’d been in a weird funk the last week and a half. In the midst of cluttering my life and schedule with stuff, I was just coasting through.¬† And then I started listening to this song. And I can’t get enough of it.

At first, it’s a song with a bit of a catchy melody. And then you listen to it over and over and the truth behind the lyrics capture your heart. The Holy Spirit testifies with your spirit the veracity of the truth of the chorus. And He urges you to live in light of it.

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

It is simple. But so true. Christ IS risen from the dead! We are joined to Him in one family.

And then the urging: Come awake! Come awake! Come and rise up from the grave!

In Christ, our old selves died with Him, but now we are new creations! Thus, be a new creation!

And then… the bridge. It excites me. Moves me. And instantly reminds me that joy in Christ is the call for all who call Him Savior.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out Matt Maher’s other stuff too. He’s a great songwriter and worship leader.

I find myself humming this song at work or in the car. It is not a “feel good” sedative of a song.

It is a reminder of the very truth that we base our lives on.

Christ is risen from the grave, we are one with Him again… Come awake, come awake… Come and rise up from the grave!

surely we can change

Victor Hugo said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.”

Music has such an un-empirical quality in the way it pulls at your heart. At your soul. The way the perfect lyric is joined to the the perfect melody. The tenderness of a musical instrument mixed with its rawness.

And the result is something that cannot quite be measured in a quantifiable way.

I’ll save most of my thoughts on music for another day. For now, I leave you with a song that has been pulling at me.

It is a recognition of brokenness. Of our overwhelming need.

It is a recognition of a Love even more overwhelming. A reminder that Love changes us to bring change to the world.

What does it mean to be salt and light in the world?

Listen to the song a few times. Let it sink in.

Surely…. Surely we can change.